Plastic Fantastic

I wake up after a night of fitful sleep. My eyes flutter open. The retinal scanner is ready for me and it immediately searches my eyes for cataracts. The tiny mechanical bug that perches next to my ear chirps up and asks, "What would you like to do this morning?" I am silent. I have not given into temptation for almost a month this time.

I try to just lie in bed for a while but I am all too conscious that the bed is repositioning its cushions to better match what it thinks will maximize my comfort as I wake up. Finally I get up, still half-asleep. A long-dormant habit rises and I take a step towards the shower. Automatic systems detect this move and the bathroom cranks up, the shower already running at the calculated optimum temperature and pressure. So that's out.

The bugs in my ears are asking me what I want to do again, so I try swatting them. They explode with nice little pops, but I know they're just humoring me, so I stop after a little while, unsatisfied. My personal environment perceptably relaxes, thinking that it's at last gotten me to participate in an activity I enjoy. There's a slight whine as new arachnobots are generated and sent to monitor me.

They leave me alone for a bit, so I sit down at my desk and take some notes, using a code I don't think they've figured out yet. I lose myself in writing for a while, but before long I notice that my chair is reconfiguring itself to improve my posture, and once again I'm aware of my surroundings.

A mechanical voice interrupts me with a cheerful "Do you want some breakfast, Dave?" and I set my writing aside to eat. The food is prepared perfectly and the presentation is a delight to the eye -- as always, a disappointment. I try to go to the sink to do the dishes, but before I can make a move everything is whisked away. A sigh escapes me.

Their anxiety increases. Despite their perfect engineering they have a real inferiority complex, and it really bothers them when I won't give them feedback on their services. When they can't bear it any longer they break the silence, asking questions like "Do you like the new wallpaper? Shall we try something else? Some television perhaps? Just let us know!" But I am silent.

It's this endless chatter that always ends up getting to me; that, and the need to communicate.

The digital readouts that cover most of my apartment tell me that it's a quarter past noon when I finally snap. I scream at them to just shut up and leave me alone. I'm eloquent on the subject. And loud. Very, very loud. I continue on the subject at some length, but finally I get hoarse and stop.

For a moment, there's silence. For a moment, I almost let myself hope I've gotten through.

Then in one voice they respond: "There must be something we can do. We want you to be happy! Please, just tell us what it will take!"

This time, I resolve, I won't speak for at least five weeks.

This was something random written by Jacob Haller. To see another random thing, click here. To get a permanent link to this particular random thing, click here.



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